If you are pregnant – or planning to become pregnant – chances are you’re already aware that there is more than one method for delivering a baby. In the event that you are unable to have a natural delivery, a caesarean section (c-section) may be necessary.
A c-section is an operation in which a doctor makes an incision just below the bikini line, through the abdomen and womb, in order to lift a baby out.
Sometimes, a c-section is a safer option than a vaginal birth for both the mother and baby. For instance, a planned c-section may be offered before labor if yours is a high-risk pregnancy or there are other potential problems, such as a low-lying placenta. Of course, an unplanned or emergency c-section may be necessary if an unforeseen problem – such as breach birth – presents itself during delivery.
In any case, there are important facts about a c-section that your obstetrician wants you to know before you decide how you want to deliver your baby.
Myths and Facts About C-Sections
Probably the most common misconception about choosing a C-section is that it enables you to avoid the pain of labor and reduces your risk of complications, such as vaginal prolapse (a condition in which the vagina slips out of position).
While it is true that you don’t feel pain during a C-section because you’ve been numbed from the waist down using a regional anesthetic, it is still a major abdominal surgery. You’ll still feel tugging, pressure, and other sensations during delivery, and once your child is born, it will require a lengthier recovery period – including a few days in the hospital – than a vaginal birth. Not only that, but at home, you may spend an additional few weeks recovering from surgery.
Some women fear that a C-section will deny them the opportunity to have skin-to-skin bonding time with their newborn if they’re all hooked up to machines and under anesthesia. Happily, that is rarely the case. If you let your doctor know ahead of time that this is a priority for you, it is possible you can have skin-to-skin time immediately or shortly after your baby is born despite your C-section.
Another myth about a C-section is that you will be unable to deliver vaginally if you get pregnant again following the operation. However, vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) is certainly an option, so long as you are in generally good health and don’t have a high-risk pregnancy. In fact, VBAC offers you a lower risk of complications during delivery and a shorter recovery time.
The more educated you are about the birthing process and your delivery options, the better you can prepare for your baby’s birth. To find out more about the comparative benefits of vaginal or cesarean delivery, discuss these options with your obstetrician.
OB/GYN Services in Syracuse, New York
At University OB/GYN Associates, our number one priority is helping you have a happy and healthy pregnancy.
In the event of an obstetrical emergency, our highly skilled obstetricians, maternal and fetal medicine specialists, midwives, and doctors will work diligently to keep you and your baby safe while honoring your birth plan wishes. Many of our providers are highly trained in handling high-risk pregnancies and can guide you to make the best decisions regarding the health and wellbeing of you and your baby. We have multiple locations in Syracuse for your convenience.